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Humanity+ and the Transhumanist Declaration

Objective(s)

Describe basic goals of the Transhumanist Declaration.

Summary

Transhumanists advocate for people actively working to address risks and realize the opportunities of technological advancement. The Transhumanist Declaration expresses these intentions.

The Transhumanist Declaration

The Transhumanist Declaration was created in 1998 with the founding of the World Transhumanist Association (now called Humanity+ A non-profit 501(c)3 educational organization dedicated to elevating the human condition.). It lays the foundation for a vision of transhumanism An intellectual movement based on the belief that humanity can transcend current physical or cognitive limitations through the use of science and technology. widely accepted by transhumanists People who subscribe to transhumanism.. It reads:

  1. Humanity stands to be profoundly affected by science and technology in the future. We envision the possibility of broadening human potential by overcoming aging, cognitive shortcomings, involuntary suffering, and our confinement to planet Earth.
  2. We believe that humanity’s potential is still mostly unrealized. There are possible scenarios that lead to wonderful and exceedingly worthwhile enhanced human conditions.
  3. We recognize that humanity faces serious risks, especially from the misuse of new technologies. There are possible realistic scenarios that lead to the loss of most, or even all, of what we hold valuable. Some of these scenarios are drastic, others are subtle. Although all progress is change, not all change is progress.
  4. Research effort needs to be invested into understanding these prospects. We need to carefully deliberate how best to reduce risks and expedite beneficial applications. We also need forums where people can constructively discuss what should be done, and a social order where responsible decisions can be implemented.
  5. Reduction of existential risks Possible events or conditions that would result in the destruction of all human life., and development of means for the preservation of life and health, the alleviation of grave suffering, and the improvement of human foresight The ability to predict or the action of predicting what will happen or be needed in the future. and wisdom should be pursued as urgent priorities, and heavily funded.
  6. Policy making ought to be guided by responsible and inclusive moral vision, taking seriously both opportunities and risks, respecting autonomy Freedom from external control or influence; independence. and individual rights, and showing solidarity with and concern for the interests and dignity of all people around the globe. We must also consider our moral responsibilities towards generations that will exist in the future.
  7. We advocate the well-being of all sentience The ability to perceive or feel things; self awareness., including humans, non-human animals, and any future artificial intellects Sentience evolved through deliberate selection., modified life forms, or other intelligences to which technological and scientific advance may give rise.
  8. We favour allowing individuals wide personal choice over how they enable their lives. This includes use of techniques that may be developed to assist memory, concentration, and mental energy; life extension The use of technology to increase life spans. therapies; reproductive choice technologies; cryonics The low-temperature preservation of the bodies of people with the intent to revive them later. procedures; and many other possible human modification and enhancement technologies.

Discussion Questions

  • What are some of the intentions of the Transhumanist Declaration?
  • What points of the Transhumanist Declaration resonate with you?
  • How does the Transhumanist Declaration compare to the Mormon Transhumanist Affirmation?

Call to Action

Learn more about Humanity+ by visiting their website or Facebook group.

Resources for further study/engagement: